It’s that season again…time for annual performance reviews. The time when I write a self assessment about how I performed the last twelve months and what results I achieved against goals. A time to pause and have a conversation with my boss about my accomplishments, strengths and opportunities for development. The time I receive honest feedback and am held accountable for my performance…and hope I’ve been a vowel rather than a consonant.
Bleary-eyed from reflecting and scribbling down my self-assessment, a thought occurred to me. When did I last stop to take stock of my life overall? To appraise results against efforts? Was I getting the ones I was shooting for? Or did I need a course correction? Even sports events allow players and coaches time to regroup, rethink strategy, and plan next plays. Half-time, seventh inning stretches, and pit stops all give players time out to assess, make needed adjustments and refuel before they head for the finish.
Just as important, when was the last time I took a tough look at whether I allocated
the right amounts of time to the right things that would yield the results I was after…the fulfilling life God promised and I wanted? Was I spending adequate time on my relationship with Him, with family and friends or in service to others? Was I making time to relax and recharge?
Clearly, I was overdue for an accountability check-up. Why does it matter? Because without a hard look at these questions and an even harder look at the answers, I could spend years going down a path only to be surprised it’s a dead-end or leads me in a direction I didn’t intend. Or the road’s steep and exhausting grade could tempt me to stop short of goal. Frustration with progress at the lightning speed of a snail could replace original determination with doubt. Unexpected challenges could throw me off track. I know. Been there. Done that.
So, I sit down to reaffirm the end in mind…to live the life God created me for…and
hold myself accountable for how I’m doing.
I ask, What’s my strategy for making the vision a reality? For me, it’s investing time that draws me closer to my heavenly Father, building meaningful relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances He places in my life for whatever time He places them there, and allocating time to serve others’ needs according to how He calls me.
Knowing my strategic directions, I’m ready to ask, What steps can I take or opportunities can I watch for that help me along my journey to the “end”? I write them down to keep them visible.
Then, close the loop back to the “end” in mind. I ask, Am I taking the steps I committed to? Am I on track? How can I know? The answer is the same as I tell managers when developing their associates. Hold myself accountable to the plan. How? Follow-up. When? Consistently. Why should I? Because, in the end I hope to be a vowel.
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)